Day one of the symposium ended with a thought-provoking talk from Waterloo Region’s Senior Hydrogeologist, Tammy Middleton. Tammy discussed the key objectives of the Region’s groundwater management program.
The first objective of the program is to comply with legislation, while providing a safe and sufficient supply of water to the public. Recently, this involved incorporating new requirements of the Ontario Clean Water Act. Proactive monitoring has been another objective of the Region’s program for numerous years. As such, their current data collection schedule became a key resource in completing their Source Water Assessment as prescribed by the Clean Water Act.
Another aspect of their proactive monitoring program , is monitoring beyond compliance. For the Region, this means testing for all regulated, as well as non-regulated chemicals, and collecting data on a more frequent schedule than required. Tammy pointed out the effectiveness of water level measurements, because of how much information they provide at such a small cost. Monitoring water levels at a greater frequency allowed the Region to see connectivity between aquifers that may not have been discovered without a continuous water level monitoring program.
Testing for non-regulated chemicals also allowed the Region to discover a contamination issue in one of their well fields. Because of the proactive approach to monitoring, the Region is able to more effectively manage and monitor potential threats to their Water resources. Because of this, the work done at the region can serve as a model for other municipal or larger groundwater monitoring programs.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Tammy Middleton, M.Sc., Region of Waterloo
Tammy Middleton is a Senior Hydrogeologist and Professional Geoscientist working in the Water Services Division at the Region of Waterloo. She has a background in geochemistry, graduated from the University of Waterloo in 1990 with a M.Sc. in hydrogeology, spent 7 years as a hydrogeologist at engineering firms, and has been at the Region for about 13 years. Tammy specializes in contaminant hydrogeology and municipal groundwater protection and policy, and is known for boring her colleagues with her studies of the history of wells and municipal water supply in Waterloo Region.